Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy 75th Anniversary, Gone With The Wind!

Gone With The Wind premiered seventy-five years ago, today, on December 15th, 1939, in Atlanta, Georgia. This premiere event was followed by two more: one in New York City and another in Hollywood.


Ann Rutherford was the first star to arrive in Atlanta for the three day premiere. Ann played Carreen O'Hara, Scarlett's youngest sister. Among the other arrivals were: Evelyn Keyes, who played Suellen; Alicia Rhett, whose character was India Wilkes; Laura Hope Crewes as Aunt Pittypat; and Ona Munson, who played Belle Watling.

Olivia de Havilland and Vivien Leigh arrive in Atlanta
David O. Selznick, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier arrived on the same flight in Atlanta on December 13th. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard arrived the following day on December 14th.

Olivia de Havilland, David Selznick, Vivien Leigh and Irene Selznick

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard
Some of the activities scheduled for the stars to participate in were a parade, the Junior League ball, a press party at the Georgian Terrace Hotel and of course, the premiere.


The press party was held at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. The hotel would also play host to the cast of Gone With The Wind, while they were in town, with the exception of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. Vivien and Olivier stayed at a private residence, since they were both still married to other people at this time. Selznick didn't want the gossip mills to start grinding over the couple's lifestyle and adversely affect Gone With The Wind's potential ticket sales and earnings.


Ona Munson, the film's Belle Watling, poses with Wilbur Kurtz, Sr. Kurtz was a historian and technical advisor hired to work on Gone With The Wind by Selznick.


At a tea held by the Atlanta Women's Press Club, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, David O. Selznick and Olivia de Havilland pose with author, Margaret Mitchell (center) whom they were meeting for the first time in person.


Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Olivia de Havilland are pictured with the city parks manager, George Simmons. George took them on a tour of the Cyclorama, which is a 400 ft long, 18,000 pound painting of the battle of Atlanta.


In the car with Vivien Leigh are Governor Ed Rivers of Georgia, David O. Selznick- the producer of GWTW, and Jock Whitney- financial backer of GWTW.


David Selznick stands behind Vivien, as Laurence Olivier helps her from the car, as they arrive for the Junior League Ball. Willard George designed her cape, made from ermine and their black tails.


Vivien's dress for the Junior League Ball was specifically designed by Walter Plunkett for this event. Her black evening gown was made from lyons velvet, a stiff and thick velvet fabric fashionable at the time of the premiere. The dress featured a fitted bodice, trimmed in white ermine, and sleeves capped off by ermine and ermine tails. From Vivien's waist, the dress flared out into a wide, full skirt. Paul Flato designed Vivien's jewelry for the evening, which featured a diamond butterfly clip for her hair, a diamond & ruby bracelet and a diamond bow ring.


Ann Rutherford says a few words before the premiere. Before Gone With The Wind, Ann was best known as Polly, from the Andy Hardy movies.


Alicia Rhett, who played India Wilkes in the film, attends the premiere. Alicia was discovered in Selznick's famous Search for Scarlett.  


Clark Gable and Carole Lombard attend the movie premiere of Gone With The Wind. Carole wore a medieval cape of blush satin with a train.

This is Margaret Mitchell's night and Atlanta's night, Clark said. I want to see the picture just as you see it. Please Atlanta, allow me to see "Gone With The Wind" tonight just as a spectator.



Vivien Leigh in two publicity shots showing off her movie premiere gown. One source sites this dress as having been designed by Walter Plunkett, the costume designer for the movie. The gown is of gold lame, draped in Oriental fashion, with harem hem line and draped girdle accenting the small waist. Girdle and the short sleeves are quilted in rose pattern and studded with gold sequins. Worn with the gown is jewelry of topaz and diamonds set in gold. Necklace and bracelet are of acorn and leaf design.


Needless to say, the premiere of Gone With The Wind was wildly successful. The biggest downside to the premiere was the fact that Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly Mcqueen, Oscar Polk and Everett Brown were not allowed to attend due to segregation laws in effect at that time.


Gone With The Wind premiered at the Loew's Grand theater in downtown Atlanta. The theater boasted a false front made to look like Tara, Scarlett's antebellum home. Kleig lights and magnolia tress surrounded the columned front. Tickets to the premiere were $10 each with some ticket scalpers netting up to $200 for each ticket.

For, by any and all standards, Mr. Selznick's film is a handsome, scrupulous and unstinting version of the 1,037-page novel, matching it almost scene for scene with a literalness that not even Shakespeare or Dickens were accorded in Hollywood, casting it so brilliantly one would have to know the history of the production not to suspect that Miss Mitchell had written her story just to provide a vehicle for the stars already assembled under Mr. Selznick's hospitable roof. To have treated so long a book with such astonishing fidelity required courage—the courage of a producer's convictions and of his pocketbook, and yet, so great a hold has Miss Mitchell on her public, it might have taken more courage still to have changed a line or scene of it. -NYT

 Happy Anniversay, GWTW!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Search for Scarlett O'Hara

From the time it was announced that David O. Selznick would be making Gone With The Wind into a movie, all the gossip columnists and movie magazines were aflutter with whom should play the characters Margaret Mitchell so expertly brought to life in her best-seller.

Selznick decided he wanted to cast an unknown actress as Scarlett, hence “the search for Scarlett” began. Thousands of letters poured into Selznick’s office and to people like gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Jimmie Fidler. Newspapers asked readers to participate in polls and to voice their opinions on the characters.

A drawing of the unknown Scarlett with Clark Gable depicted as Rhett

One of the reasons Selznick wanted an unknown is that he didn’t want the power of a well-established actress to outshine the movie and to turn it into so-and-so’s film. Selznick wanted to create a star. He knew that whomever he cast as Scarlett would become an overnight sensation and he wanted that new star all to himself.

In 1936, three search teams were sent out in pursuit of Scarlett O’Hara: one team to the West, one to the North and one to the South. The southern team would be headed by Kay Brown, David Selznick’s New York assistant who’d brought Gone With The Wind to his attention and hammered away at him until he purchased the movie rights. They would scour college campuses and small theaters across the states. Kay wrote to Selznick, “We are in Atlanta, barricaded in our rooms. The belles turned out in droves. For the most part they were all healthy mothers who should have stayed at home; the rich debutantes are all offering to pay us to play Scarlett… I feel like Moses in the Wilderness… I need a drink and Georgia is a dry state.”

The first actress to complete a screen test for Gone With The Wind was Louise Platt in September, 1936. The rumour mill was grinding away during the search. Bette Davis was the most popular actress with the fans to play Scarlett. In January 1937, the top five leading contenders, as faithfully reported by the newspapers for the role were: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, Constance Bennett, Katharine Hepburn and Tallulah Bankhead.

Tallulah Bankhead in her screen test for Scarlett O'Hara
Selznick sent a wire to Tallulah Bankhead, who naturally wanted to know if she had the part after being tested, “Dear Tallulah, The tests are very promising indeed. Am still worried about the first part of the story and frankly if I had to give you an answer now it would be no, but if we can leave it open I can say to you very honestly that I think there is a strong possibility. I should like to continue looking around and a little later on consider the advisability of making further tests with you… using dialogue… directed by George [Cukor]. These tests should be beneficial to your chances… and from our standpoint they would really give us a clear idea as to how you would be as Scarlett. In short, I think you are a definite possibility, but I cannot give you an answer for sometime.”


Other young ladies being tested for Gone With The Wind were Alicia Rhett, Susan Falligant, Louisa Robert and Adele Longmire. They were all found during the Scarlett search. Alicia Rhett was discovered on-stage and was later signed to play India Wilkes, Ashley's sister.


Bette Davis lobbied hard for Warner Bros. to buy Gone With The Wind for her. Even after Selznick snapped up the movie rights, Bette still wanted to play Scarlett. And she was offered up to Selznick in a package deal with Errol Flynn as the dashing Rhett Butler. At the time, Bette didn’t have a high opinion of Flynn’s acting, “The part of Mr. Flynn as Rhett Butler appalled me. I refused.”

According to Jack Warner: Before Selznick decided on Vivien Leigh, he came to me with a proposition to lend him Bette Davis and Errol Flynn as a costarring package for the picture. Bette was fond of Errol… but she was also realistic about Errol’s limited acting talent. She refused to have any part of the deal, and that was her last chance for the part.


Bette Davis as Jezebel
David Selznick wrote to Ed Sullivan: Certainly you ought to know that Warner Bros. wouldn’t give Bette Davis up for a picture to be released through MGM, even had we wanted Miss Davis in preference to a new personality. Warner Bros. offered me Errol Flynn for Butler and Bette Davis for Scarlett if I would release the picture through Warners-- and this would have been an easy way out of my dilemma. But the public wanted Gable.

Warner Bros. gave Bette Jezebel, her first costumed film. Of course, the Scarlett O’Hara comparisons started immediately. “Tush, Tush,” said Bette to the rumors. “The only similarity is that the girl I portray, like Scarlett, is a hundred years ahead of her time. ‘Jezebel’ was a play on Broadway two and a half years before ‘Gone With The Wind’ ever appeared.”

Miriam Hopkins
Miriam Hopkins was a huge favorite in the polls to play Scarlett and like Scarlett, she was a Georgia girl. She lobbied her studio, United Artists, to purchase Gone With The Wind. On not getting the role, Miriam said in 1937, “It’s a fat role for any actress. But, although I got votes from every section of the country, although shop girls, hairdressers everywhere, they all stopped me and asked me to play her, although even my mother says I should have done it because we’re from the South and her name is the same as Scarlett’s mother, Ellen, even with all those reasons I can only tell the truth. I’ve never been asked. I just wasn’t invited to the party.”

Susan Hayward as Scarlett and Dorothy Jordan as Melanie Wilkes
Brooklyn born Susan Hayward was another young woman to make a screen test for Gone With The Wind in 1937. After posing for an article, “How Models Come to New York,” George Cukor saw her picture and he thought she might make a good Scarlett.

“They gave me a screen test in a Long Island studio and there must have been something about it that pleased them because they brought me to Hollywood where I was tested again and again. For some reason never explained, they changed their minds and I found myself in the ranks of the also-rans in the Scarlett race.” Six months later, Warner Bros. signed her to a six months’ contract. When that contract expired, Susan screen tested for Beau Geste and landed the part with a long-term contract to Paramount.

Arleen Whelan was a young lady who been living in Los Angeles and making her living at the Roosevelt Hotel in the beauty shop. She left there to work as a manicurist in a Hollywood barbershop where two weeks later, she was discovered.



The following was reported in a fan magazine: She is the girl who was chosen months ago to play Scarlett O’Hara in GWTW. And the only why she won’t be playing Scarlett is that the studio to which she is signed (20th Century Fox) won’t sell her contract to the studio producing the picture (Selznick International). Fifty-thousand dollars were offered for her contract and refused. Only the insiders have known up to this point that she was definitely selected as Scarlett- until Mr. Zanuck suggested to Mr. Selznick that he take his $50,000 and spend it on trying to find an Arleen Whelan of his own.

“Here’s something you might want to know, producers at the Selznick Studios heard about Arleen and asked to see her tests. They were searching for a girl who would fit into the Scarlett O’Hara role and with the permission of 20th Century Fox, Arleen was farmed out for three months while she learned a southern accent under Selznick tutors. An offer was made to buy her contract from Darryl Zanuck who promptly refused to let go of what he considered the outstanding discovery of the year in Hollywood…” -Tyrone Power

In Arleen's own words: “Sidney Howard, who wrote the script for Gone With The Wind, saw me in the Brown Derby. He thought I ‘looked like Scarlett’ and he said he knew I was an actress by the way I ate. I’ve been self-conscious about eating ever since. They arranged with Mr. Zanuck to test me. Then they sent me to studying a southern accent, learning how to wear those grand old southern clothes. I’ve never enjoyed any experience so much as that. I’m still studying with the coach I had there- Gertrude Fogler.”

“It was a disappointment not to be able to play Scarlett,” Arleen said, “but I still think I’m the luckiest girl in all the world. From a manicurist table to a sound stage is a long, long jump and no one knows it any better than I.”

Margaret Tallichet surrounded by letters Selznick's office received in regard to Scarlett.

Margaret Tallichet was another rumored contender. Margaret was making her living as a typist at Paramount when her good friend, Carole Lombard, introduced her to David Selznick. She had no acting experience, so Selznick had her take lessons and convinced her to try out for small theater productions to gain that experience. Margaret had four screen tests in March, 1938, for the role of Scarlett. She was finally offered the part of Carreen, Scarlett's youngest sister. After the Selznick team worked with her for almost a year, trying to sculpt her acting abiltiy, Margaret married film director William Wyler and abandoned acting in 1941.


Norma Shearer

On June 24th, 1938, headlines were made when it was announced that Norma Shearer would play Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable would be cast as Rhett Butler. Five days later, Maxine Garrison wrote, “But I’ve been trying to digest La Shearer as Scarlett for more than two days now and the idea won’t stay put.” Garrison went on to remark that Norma was too groomed to play Scarlett. “…I remember Scarlett vying with the pigs at Tara in digging roots in a denuded garden, grubbing away for months without a thought to her looks… Scarlett driving a heavy wagon from Atlanta to Tara over almost impassable roads. Scarlett being manhandled by Rhett in one of the book’s most vivid scenes, hearing for the first time in her willful life the full list of her sins, squabbling with Rhett like a fishwife. And Norma Shearer just doesn’t fit in there, not in the light of any of her past performances, clever and suave though they have been. She is a master of the movie art of understatement. But Scarlett can’t be played that way. Scarlett is a thousand moods in one, a creature of utter spontaneity, a flash of lightning against the pale landscape in which ladies moved in her day. Perfect grooming had no part in her charm, complete self-control was never one of her virtues."

On August 1st, Ms. Shearer formally withdrew from consideration in David Selznick’s epic. She thought herself “unsuited as his leading lady of Gone With The Wind.” She received several letters from her fans who voiced their opinions that she shouldn‘t take on the role. “I am convinced the majority of fans who think I should not play this kind of character are right. I have advised Mr. Selznick and Mr. Mayer of my feelings so they will not consider me for the part should the MGM deal with Selznick go through."



Katharine Hepburn with George Cukor
Katharine Hepburn was another actress who desperately wanted to play Scarlett O’Hara. She was good friends with George Cukor, who’d previously directed her in Holiday and Little Women. As Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins did, Hepburn tried to get her studio, RKO, to buy Gone With The Wind for her. “When Katie first read Gone With The Wind, she was wildly enthusiastic. She tore into Pan Berman’s office at RKO and begged him to buy the book for her. But, before producer Berman could say “Jack Robinson,” David Selznick had beaten him to the finish… triumphantly scooping Hollywood on the distinguished novel of the year. Naturally, this was a bitter disappointment to Katie but, characteristically, she didn’t give up hope. From that day to this she has never relinquished her dream to play the part of Scarlett.” Both Hepburn and Cukor tried to persuade Selznick to cast her in the lead role. In October of 1938, a newspaper article ran this quote, “Miss Hepburn received an impressive number of fan endorsements, but Selznick privately declared he would not consider her.”
 
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard was tested for Scarlett several times in 1938. Rumours began about her being cast as early as February, 1938. One of the biggest drawbacks to casting Paulette was the question of whether or not she was married to Charlie Chaplin. The two of them were living together and creating quite a stir in the gossip columns. Selznick didn’t want any adverse gossip following his movie to the box-office. The rumor at the time was that she and Chaplin had been married at sea, but Paulette would not, or could not, produce proof. When Paulette was interviewed by one of the leading movie magazines, she was asked directly if she was married. Paulette replied, “I have vowed never to discuss my private life. I intend to keep that vow.”

Rumors flew thick and fast about Gone With The Wind. She was to be Scarlett- sure! But she wasn’t. She was frank concerning her feelings on that score. “I was terribly disappointed at the time, but now I am glad that I shan’t be Scarlett,” she confided. “You see, if I had succeeded, I should probably never been able to duplicate my performance with a subsequent success. And if I had failed-- well, I don’t like to think about that either! And so, honestly cross-my-heart, I am glad it all turned out the way it did. Miss Leigh is an established actress and no matter how her Scarlett turns out, she can go on. But it might have finished me!”

Laurence Olivier was in Hollywood filming Wuthering Heights when Vivien Leigh decided to leave London and visit him. They were in the midst of a great love story, as a little over a year ago they had each left their respective spouses to move in together. Beginning in September, 1938, she'd been starring on stage in the title role of Serena Blandish. In November, Vivien traveled on the “Queen Mary” and arrived in Hollywood at the end of the month. She had a limited amount of time in America as she was scheduled to appear soon in another play back home in England. Vivien had read Gone With The Wind when it first came out and had decided she’d be the one to play Scarlett O’Hara, even announcing that “I shall play Scarlett O’Hara, wait and see.” to her cast mates of 21 Days Together in 1937.

Vivien Leigh as Serena Blandish, Fall 1938
David Selznick couldn’t wait any longer; with or without a Scarlett, he needed to start filming Gone With The Wind. Several old sets needed to be cleared off the Forty Acres lot so that the sets for Gone With The Wind could be built. On December 10th, 1938, it was decided to set fire to these old buildings to create the burning of Atlanta sequence. It was at the end of filming this, that David’s brother, Myron Selznick, approached him with two people; one of them was Laurence Olivier and the other, Vivien Leigh.

Two days later, David wrote to his wife, Irene: Saturday night, I was greatly exhilarated by the fire sequence. It was one of the biggest thrills I have had out of making pictures- first, because of the scene itself, and second because of the frightening but exciting knowledge that Gone With The Wind was finally in work. Myron rolled in just exactly too late, arriving about a minute and a half after the last building had fallen and burned and after the shots were completed. With him were Larry Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Shhhhhh: she’s the Scarlett dark horse, and looks damned good. (Not for anybody’s ears but your own: it’s narrowed down to Paulette, Jean Arthur, Joan Bennett and Vivien Leigh).

In 1941, David recalled this moment: Before my brother, Myron… brought Laurence Olivier and Miss Leigh over to the set to see the shooting of the Burning of Atlanta, I had never seen her. When he introduced me to her, the flames were lighting up her face and Myron said, “I want you to meet Scarlett O’Hara.” I took one look and knew that she was right- at least right as far as her appearance went- at least right as far as my conception of how Scarlett O’Hara looked. Later on, her tests, made under George Cukor’s brilliant direction, showed that she could act the part right down to the ground, but I’ll never recover from that first look.


The top four contenders for the role were now: Paulette Goddard, Jean Arthur, Joan Bennett and Vivien Leigh. In December, 1938, each of them were filmed in three test scenes: Mammy helps Scarlett into her corset at Tara, Scarlett declares her love for Ashley in the library at Twelve Oaks and the paddock scene with Ashley at Tara.

Jean Arthur as Scarlett with Hattie McDaniel as Mammy

Joan Bennett as Scarlett with Douglass Montgomery as Ashley

Paulette Goddard being made-up for her screen test as Scarlett
Vivien completed her screen tests on December 21st and 22nd. On Christmas Day, 1938, George Cukor informed her she had the role of Scarlett O’Hara. She later recalled that moment when Cukor told her, "'Well, Vivien, I guess we're stuck with you.' Like that. As matter of fact as if he'd said, 'Well, Vivien, have some more turkey.'" 

Vivien Leigh in the most coveted role of all time: Scarlett O'Hara
Finally, after two and a half years, more than 1,400 interviews, 500 readings and screen-tests combined and thousands of dollars spent, Scarlett O’Hara was cast. 


In addition to Scarlett, the search produced Alicia Rhett (India Wilkes), Marcella Martin (Cathleen Calvert) and Mary ’Bebe’ Anderson (Maybelle Merriweather).




Monday, October 13, 2014

The Vintage Bride: Grace Kelly, Civil Ceremony

Grace Kelly, a Hollywood actress, first met her future husband in May, 1955 at a photo shoot arranged by the studio. He was Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the reigning monarch of a country comprised of 370 acres and from one of the oldest royal families in Europe, the Grimaldis. Eleven months later, on April 18, 1956, the couple were married in a civil wedding, which was the first of their two weddings. The second one was a religious ceremony held the next day on April 19th.

Grace Kelly shows off her engagement ring to her parents, Jack and Margaret.


The day after they announced their engagement, the couple were photographed at the Waldorf-Astoria in January, 1956. "I love his eyes," Kelly gushed. "I could look into them for hours."

 


Grace on the streets of New York City in March, 1956, one month before her marriage to Prince Rainier.

Grace and her mother Margaret, March 1956, New York City


Prince Rainier and Grace at their civil wedding ceremony. The ceremony was conducted in french and held in the throne room of Rainier's palace. The royal palace of Monaco has been home to the Grimaldi family since 1297.


Grace's dress was pale pink taffeta with cream-colored Alencon lace. She wore white kid gloves and topped her blonde hair with a Juliet cap. Her civil wedding dress was designed by Helen Rose, a costume designer for MGM. Helen also designed Grace's religious wedding dress. Rainier wore striped trousers, a white vest, gray tie and black morning coat.

 
After the ceremony, the newly wedded couple greeted the press and well-wishers. According to People magazine, no guests from other royal families attended either wedding: "Though the guests did not include a single representative from any of the royal houses of Europe, which were inclined to see the Grimaldis as quarrelsome minor aristocracy, the wedding did bring out Ava Gardner, the writer W. Somerset Maugham and Aristotle Onassis. Rainier's mother came in the company of a former jewel thief, which caused some suspicion among the several guests whose jewels were stolen throughout the week."
 



A lovely portrait of the happy couple in their wedding attire. To read about Grace's wedding gown for the religious ceremony, please click here

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Vintage Bride: Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly, a Hollywood actress known for her beauty, first met her future husband in May, 1955 at a photo shoot arranged by the studio. He was Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the reigning monarch of a country comprised of 370 acres and from one of the oldest royal families, the Grimaldis. Eleven months later, on April 19, 1956, the couple were married in a religious ceremony at St. Nicholas Cathedral by the Bishop of Monaco.

Grace Kelly pictured with her father Jack, who walked her down the aisle.
"I don't want to be married to someone who feels belittled by my success," she once said. "I couldn't bear walking into a restaurant and hearing the maitre d' refer to my husband as Mr. Kelly."
 


Grace Kelly's wedding dress was designed by Helen Rose, a costume designer for MGM. Helen Rose had previously designed costumes for Miss Kelly for her movies, High Society and The Swan. Also on hand from MGM's staff, was hairdresser Virginia Darcy.


Seamstresses hard at work on Miss Kelly's wedding dress and veil. The dress would be comprised of 100 yards of silk net, 25 yards of silk taffeta, 125 year old lace purchased for the occasion and thousands of tiny beads and pearls.



A sketch by the wedding dress designer, Helen Rose
The wedding dress was later gifted to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Princess Grace. The following description can be found on their website:

"From the crownlike wreath topping the headpiece to the bows down the back of the graceful train, Grace Kelly's wedding ensemble is simple but exquisitely detailed. Delicate rose point lace, a type of nineteenth-century Brussels needle lace that features elaborate floral motifs, forms the bodice, which appears seamless because the lace motifs were detached from their original ground and pieced together to follow the shaping of the dress. Touches of the lace, accented with lustrous seed pearls, unify the gown and accessories. The dress itself is constructed in four complex parts: the lace bodice with an attached underbodice, skirt support, and slip; a heavily pleated silk faille skirt that incorporates a smoothing petticoat, ruffled petticoat, and foundation petticoat; a triangular tulle and lace train insert; and a pleated silk faille cummerbund.


In style and detail the dress was conceived to complement the "fairy-princess" image of the bride. Above a bell-shaped skirt of ivory peau de soie supported by three petticoats, a high-necked bodice of Brussels lace was re-embroidered so the seams would be invisible and then accented with seed pearls."


Pearl-embellished lace also covers the prayer book, shoes, and cap, which is surmounted by an orange-blossom wreath. The circular silk net veil, especially designed so that the bride's face could be seen, is decorated with appliqu├ęd lace motifs including two tiny love birds. H. Kristina Haugland, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 100.


 
The shoes were designed by David Evins. They were made from leather and accented with seed pearls, glass beads, silk lace and silk faille. Check out Grace's name inside the shoe.
 

"On her wedding day, Grace Kelly carried a small bouquet of lilies of the valley and this specialized missal, whose full title is Bride's Manual: A Manual of Catholic Devotion with Mass for the Marriage Ceremony and the Nuptial Blessing. The gilt-edged book, filled with prayers, hymns, meditations, and information in accordance with recent pontifical decrees, was a gift to the bride from a longtime friend of the Kelly family, Mrs. John F. McCloskey of Chestnut Hill. It was sent to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to be decorated with silk, lace, and seed pearls to match the wedding dress." -Philadelphia Museum of Art


Grace's sister Peggy was the matron of honor and there was an additional six bridesmaids along with four young ladies and two young gentlemen as wedding party attendants.


 
The bridesmaids' dresses were yellow organdy and designed by Joseph Hong for Neiman-Marcus and made by Priscilla of Boston.
 
 
"The bride's favorite color, yellow, was chosen for the bridesmaids' dresses; the shade, called "Sunlight," provided a pleasing contrast to the grayness of Monaco's cathedral. Made of sheer silk organdy over a built-in strapless taffeta underdress, the dress features a high neck, pleated sash, full bishop sleeves, and a wide, petticoat-supported skirt that flows gracefully into a short train.




"This dress, worn by Grace Kelly's oldest niece, is supported by a yellow organdy underdress with three skirts. Sprigs of machine-embroidered daisies enliven the sheer white organdy fabric, and the daisy theme was continued by the small daisy bouquet and by the halo of daisies, which was substituted for the hat depicted on the flower girls in the original design."  -Philadelphia Museum of Art
 


Prince Rainier wore his royal uniform of Monaco complete with sword, which they later used to cut their multi-tiered wedding cake.



 
The happy couple were driven through the streets of Monte Carlo in a Rolls Royce convertible as thousands of well-wishers lined the way for the newlyweds.

 
 
 
Prince Rainier and Princess Grace remained married until her untimely death in 1982 from an automobile accident. Prince Rainier never remarried and passed away in 2005. The couple had three children: Caroline, Albert and Stephanie.
 
Thanks for your visit today. Please join me next Sunday for another Vintage Bride.